Crossings and Dwellings

Restored Jesuits, Women Religious, American Experience, 1814-2014

Loyola University Museum of Art, July 19-October 19, 2014

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Young Ladies Sodality Banner
Back side
Unpacking and hanging the banner today at the Loyola University Museum of Art resolved a question that had been pursued in the original post on the front side of the “Maria Immaculata Banner.”
Two sodalities had been formed at the outset of Holy Family parish and both had been placed under the patronage of the Immaculate Conception of Mary. The first had been the “Sodality of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary for Men” (of which Irish immigrant John Comiskey, father of Charles, had been a founder). The second had been the “Young Ladies’ Sodality,” founded on August 15, 1861 (feast of the Assumption of Mary). The date on the reverse side suggested that it was this later group for whom the banner had been made, especially since they had been united transnationally with Rome on December 8, 1862, under the title of the “Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary.”
When the banner was unpacked today in the Loyola University Museum of Art, the question was completely resolved. This monumental banner belonged to the “Young Ladies Sodality” of Holy Family Church.
It could very well have been ready for the great annual June processions: the June 1, 1862, procession concluding the Marian month of May. And for the annual Corpus Christi procession on June 22 that year, the procession that, from ancient times to the present, has signaled the beginning of the summer growing season. (August 15, the Assumption, signals the harvest and conclusion of summer.)
An expert in this medium says that the banner is extremely rare in that the oil paint on leather is unusually intact and well preserved from cracking.
Lender: Holy Family Church, Chicago

Young Ladies Sodality Banner

Back side

Unpacking and hanging the banner today at the Loyola University Museum of Art resolved a question that had been pursued in the original post on the front side of the “Maria Immaculata Banner.”

Two sodalities had been formed at the outset of Holy Family parish and both had been placed under the patronage of the Immaculate Conception of Mary. The first had been the “Sodality of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary for Men” (of which Irish immigrant John Comiskey, father of Charles, had been a founder). The second had been the “Young Ladies’ Sodality,” founded on August 15, 1861 (feast of the Assumption of Mary). The date on the reverse side suggested that it was this later group for whom the banner had been made, especially since they had been united transnationally with Rome on December 8, 1862, under the title of the “Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary.”

When the banner was unpacked today in the Loyola University Museum of Art, the question was completely resolved. This monumental banner belonged to the “Young Ladies Sodality” of Holy Family Church.

It could very well have been ready for the great annual June processions: the June 1, 1862, procession concluding the Marian month of May. And for the annual Corpus Christi procession on June 22 that year, the procession that, from ancient times to the present, has signaled the beginning of the summer growing season. (August 15, the Assumption, signals the harvest and conclusion of summer.)

An expert in this medium says that the banner is extremely rare in that the oil paint on leather is unusually intact and well preserved from cracking.

Lender: Holy Family Church, Chicago

Filed under EXHIBITION hfmonumental hforigins submission

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Stock Ticker Tape Machine
This stock ticker tape machine was most likely used by students in the “Commercial” track of courses at St. Ignatius College.
Within three years after the college opened in September 1871, the Jesuits realized that they would not be able to retain students if they only offered the “Classical” track of courses closely derived from the three-hundred- year- old Ratio Studiorum (displayed in this exhibition). The parents of first- and second-generation immigrant students were looking for educations that would prepare their children to leave the world of manual labor, get jobs in business and enter the middle class.
The “Commercial” track of courses was designed to meet this appetite for upward mobility. The track emphasized coursework that would prepare students for practical skills such as typing and bookkeeping as well as mathematical skills for understanding and calculating investments. Eventually, science courses were also folded into the “Commercial” curriculum, giving students a broad foundation with which they could enter and succeed in the white-collar workforce.
The “Commercial” track presented Jesuits with a dilemma. Historically, this kind of curriculum was not in keeping with their Renaissance Humanistic origins, a course of studies that focused on Latin and Greek literature and rhetoric along with philosophy and “evidences of religion.” However, without a fundamental shift in strategy, St. Ignatius College would have closed for lack of students. The same missionary strategy of accommodation that used in the "Chinese Rites" of the 17th century and in the Rocky Mountains in the 19th century needed to be deployed here in burgeoning urban mercantile Chicago.
The St. Ignatius College stock ticker tape machine represents that Jesuit accommodation to the realities of America’s Second City and Third Coast.
Lender: Saint Ignatius College Prep, Chicago

Stock Ticker Tape Machine

This stock ticker tape machine was most likely used by students in the “Commercial” track of courses at St. Ignatius College.

Within three years after the college opened in September 1871, the Jesuits realized that they would not be able to retain students if they only offered the “Classical” track of courses closely derived from the three-hundred- year- old Ratio Studiorum (displayed in this exhibition). The parents of first- and second-generation immigrant students were looking for educations that would prepare their children to leave the world of manual labor, get jobs in business and enter the middle class.

The “Commercial” track of courses was designed to meet this appetite for upward mobility. The track emphasized coursework that would prepare students for practical skills such as typing and bookkeeping as well as mathematical skills for understanding and calculating investments. Eventually, science courses were also folded into the “Commercial” curriculum, giving students a broad foundation with which they could enter and succeed in the white-collar workforce.

The “Commercial” track presented Jesuits with a dilemma. Historically, this kind of curriculum was not in keeping with their Renaissance Humanistic origins, a course of studies that focused on Latin and Greek literature and rhetoric along with philosophy and “evidences of religion.” However, without a fundamental shift in strategy, St. Ignatius College would have closed for lack of students. The same missionary strategy of accommodation that used in the "Chinese Rites" of the 17th century and in the Rocky Mountains in the 19th century needed to be deployed here in burgeoning urban mercantile Chicago.

The St. Ignatius College stock ticker tape machine represents that Jesuit accommodation to the realities of America’s Second City and Third Coast.

Lender: Saint Ignatius College Prep, Chicago

Filed under EXHIBITION stignscience submission

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Late 19th-century Scientific Instrument
This late 19th-century scientific instrument — from the “Physical Cabinet”at St. Ignatius College — was designed to show that charge accumulates with the greatest density in areas where the radius of the conductor’s curvature is smallest:  small spheres hold lots of charge relative to their surface area, and large spheres hold very little charge per area. (Yes, that’s counter-intuitive!)  One can adjust all of the spheres such that they are touching, connect them to a static generator and raise them to the same voltage, and then separate them and measure the charge density and see that the smallest sphere contains the most charge per area.  (There were little wands made for doing this — ours are missing.)
This means that the electric field is greatest at the pointy ends of irregular conductors. This is part of the reason why your fingertips spark when you touch a doorknob in winter — big news in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.
The exhibition is grateful to scholars who helped solve the mysterious identity of this instrument: Juliet Burba and Adrian Fischer at the Bakken Museum, Minneapolis; and Jamie Day at the The Monroe Moosnick Medical and Science Museum (Transylvania University, Kentucky).

Late 19th-century Scientific Instrument

This late 19th-century scientific instrument — from the “Physical Cabinet”at St. Ignatius College — was designed to show that charge accumulates with the greatest density in areas where the radius of the conductor’s curvature is smallest:  small spheres hold lots of charge relative to their surface area, and large spheres hold very little charge per area. (Yes, that’s counter-intuitive!)  One can adjust all of the spheres such that they are touching, connect them to a static generator and raise them to the same voltage, and then separate them and measure the charge density and see that the smallest sphere contains the most charge per area.  (There were little wands made for doing this — ours are missing.)

This means that the electric field is greatest at the pointy ends of irregular conductors. This is part of the reason why your fingertips spark when you touch a doorknob in winter — big news in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

The exhibition is grateful to scholars who helped solve the mysterious identity of this instrument: Juliet Burba and Adrian Fischer at the Bakken Museum, Minneapolis; and Jamie Day at the The Monroe Moosnick Medical and Science Museum (Transylvania University, Kentucky).

Filed under EXHIBITION stignscience submission

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Marmot and Owl
St. Ignatius College Natural History Museum (ca. 1871-1907)
In 1871, as noted in an earlier post, the college’s museum was begun by an Eastern European immigrant, naturalist and geologist Francis X. Shulak, SJ. Eventually, the collection would be divided into the “mineral collection” and the “Natural History Museum.”
These two stuffed animals —- a marmot and an owl —- belonged to the college’s Natural History Museum. In 1907, Shulak’s return to Eastern Europe coincided with the Columbian Museum’s renaming as the Field Museum of Natural History. Since no one stepped in to take Shulak’s place as curator, the college’s natural history collection was given to the Field Museum.
As the Field Museum grew it no longer had need for the St. Ignatius collection. Although most of the items were dispersed to recipients no longer, known, a handful of smaller stuffed animals were returned to St. Ignatius and still bear their Field Museum tags.
This marmot and owl displayed in this exhibition were two of the original inhabitants of the St. Ignatius College Natural History Museum later returned from the Field Museum. (Hint: the owl is perched up in the corner.)

Lender: Saint Ignatius College Prep, Chicago

Marmot and Owl

St. Ignatius College Natural History Museum (ca. 1871-1907)

In 1871, as noted in an earlier post, the college’s museum was begun by an Eastern European immigrant, naturalist and geologist Francis X. Shulak, SJ. Eventually, the collection would be divided into the “mineral collection” and the “Natural History Museum.”

These two stuffed animals —- a marmot and an owl —- belonged to the college’s Natural History Museum. In 1907, Shulak’s return to Eastern Europe coincided with the Columbian Museum’s renaming as the Field Museum of Natural History. Since no one stepped in to take Shulak’s place as curator, the college’s natural history collection was given to the Field Museum.

As the Field Museum grew it no longer had need for the St. Ignatius collection. Although most of the items were dispersed to recipients no longer, known, a handful of smaller stuffed animals were returned to St. Ignatius and still bear their Field Museum tags.

This marmot and owl displayed in this exhibition were two of the original inhabitants of the St. Ignatius College Natural History Museum later returned from the Field Museum. (Hint: the owl is perched up in the corner.)

Lender: Saint Ignatius College Prep, Chicago

Filed under EXHIBITION stignscience submission

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Measurement Scale
St. Ignatius College (unknown date)
St. Ignatius College invested a great deal of money and manpower in its scientific cabinets, laboratories, museums, and coursework (physics, chemistry, Natural History, and mineralogy). The students targeted for applications, largely first- and second-generation immigrants, wanted to become mainstream players in American society. Acquiring foundations in scientific knowledge was a main path to that goal.
Investing in modern equipment and then advertising St. Ignatius as having cutting-edge facilities paid off as student applications translated into burgeoning student enrollments.
Lender: Saint Ignatius College Prep, Chicago

Measurement Scale

St. Ignatius College (unknown date)

St. Ignatius College invested a great deal of money and manpower in its scientific cabinets, laboratories, museums, and coursework (physics, chemistry, Natural History, and mineralogy). The students targeted for applications, largely first- and second-generation immigrants, wanted to become mainstream players in American society. Acquiring foundations in scientific knowledge was a main path to that goal.

Investing in modern equipment and then advertising St. Ignatius as having cutting-edge facilities paid off as student applications translated into burgeoning student enrollments.

Lender: Saint Ignatius College Prep, Chicago

Filed under EXHIBITION stignscience submission

0 notes

Voltmeter or Galvanometer
St. Ignatius College (ca. 1894)
This instrument for electrical measurement was manufactured by Hartmann & Braun, a company established in 1882 in Frankfurt, Germany. As the Complete catalogue of electrical measuring and test instruments manufactured by Hartmann & Braun (1894, available online here), proudly noted, the company had won eight awards at its display in the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition (Chicago World’s Fair).As seen in the first gallery, the Jesuit code of education formulated in the Ratio Studiorum had been solidified and promulgated in 1599. A product of Renaissance Humanism, it emphasized reading ancient Latin and Greek texts in the belief that “good literature forms good character.” And, as also seen in the 1738 philosophical Theses displayed in the first gallery, Jesuits did not draw strong boundaries between theology, philosophy, and natural science. If the world was created by God, then studying how it functions (natural science) is both asking about ultimate causes (philosophy) and the nature of God (theology). Nineteenth-century science was different from the 16th-century Renaissance and the 18th-century Enlightenment. The curricula in Jesuit schools always had to be adapting to new developments in 19th-century physics, chemistry, and biology. However, the fundamental belief that studying creation (science and philosophy) is a form of studying the Creator (philosophy and theology) was continuous with the Jesuit origins three centuries earlier. St. Ignatius College invested a great deal of money and manpower in its scientific cabinets, laboratories, museums, and coursework (physics, chemistry, Natural History, and mineralogy). The students targeted for applications, largely first- and second-generation immigrants, wanted to become mainstream players in American society. Acquiring foundations in scientific knowledge was a main path to that goal.  Investing in modern equipment and then advertising St. Ignatius as having cutting-edge facilities paid off as student applications translated into burgeoning student enrollments. Lender: Saint Ignatius College Prep, Chicago

Voltmeter or Galvanometer

St. Ignatius College (ca. 1894)

This instrument for electrical measurement was manufactured by Hartmann & Braun, a company established in 1882 in Frankfurt, Germany. As the Complete catalogue of electrical measuring and test instruments manufactured by Hartmann & Braun (1894, available online here), proudly noted, the company had won eight awards at its display in the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition (Chicago World’s Fair).

As seen in the first gallery, the Jesuit code of education formulated in the Ratio Studiorum had been solidified and promulgated in 1599. A product of Renaissance Humanism, it emphasized reading ancient Latin and Greek texts in the belief that “good literature forms good character.” And, as also seen in the 1738 philosophical Theses displayed in the first gallery, Jesuits did not draw strong boundaries between theology, philosophy, and natural science. If the world was created by God, then studying how it functions (natural science) is both asking about ultimate causes (philosophy) and the nature of God (theology).

Nineteenth-century science was different from the 16th-century Renaissance and the 18th-century Enlightenment. The curricula in Jesuit schools always had to be adapting to new developments in 19th-century physics, chemistry, and biology. However, the fundamental belief that studying creation (science and philosophy) is a form of studying the Creator (philosophy and theology) was continuous with the Jesuit origins three centuries earlier.

St. Ignatius College invested a great deal of money and manpower in its scientific cabinets, laboratories, museums, and coursework (physics, chemistry, Natural History, and mineralogy). The students targeted for applications, largely first- and second-generation immigrants, wanted to become mainstream players in American society. Acquiring foundations in scientific knowledge was a main path to that goal.

Investing in modern equipment and then advertising St. Ignatius as having cutting-edge facilities paid off as student applications translated into burgeoning student enrollments.

Lender: Saint Ignatius College Prep, Chicago

Filed under EXHIBITION stignscience submission

0 notes

Set of eight slides for Balopticon “Magic Lantern”
Eight slides found with the Balopticon “Magic Lantern” have been selected for display both for thematic content as well as structural stability. (Some slides are too fragile for exposure.) They have been mounted in a light box.
Slides in order of presentation:
Left column:

Paray le Monial [cityscape] (slide 12)Garden of Visitation (slide 28)Chapel of the Visitation (slide 32)Maison de la Colombière (slide 51)

These slides in the left column are photographs of the city of Paray-le-Monial, the outdoor garden and an indoor chapel at the Visitation Monastery, and the Jesuit community house of St. Claude de la Colombière, SJ. A handwritten notation to this last slide adds: “our 3rd year now deserted.” It seems that some group made pilgrimages to this Jesuit community before the Jesuits were expelled from France between 1901-1905.

Right column:

Chapel in [Visitation?]. 1st Chapel of the S[acred] Heart (slide 29)Apparition at Paray to Blessed Margaret M. (slide ??)Wax Effigy (slide 38)Feast of [Bl.? St.?] Margaret Mary. 1st celebration in Honor of S[acred]. Heart (slide 47)

These slides in the right column are photographs of the chapel of the Sacred Heart within the Visitation Monastery; a painting (in the monastery) depicting the Marian Apparition to Alocoque; a wax effigy of the saint; and a depiction of Visitation nuns celebrating the feast (October 16).
Since Alacoque was beatified in 1864 but not canonized until 1920, the second slide identifying her as “Blessed” suggests that these slides pre-date 1920. Indeed, they would seem to pre-date July 1914, the outbreak of the First World War.

Lender: Holy Family Church, Chicago

Set of eight slides for Balopticon “Magic Lantern”

Eight slides found with the Balopticon “Magic Lantern” have been selected for display both for thematic content as well as structural stability. (Some slides are too fragile for exposure.) They have been mounted in a light box.

Slides in order of presentation:

Left column:

Paray le Monial [cityscape] (slide 12)

Garden of Visitation (slide 28)

Chapel of the Visitation (slide 32)

Maison de la Colombière (slide 51)

These slides in the left column are photographs of the city of Paray-le-Monial, the outdoor garden and an indoor chapel at the Visitation Monastery, and the Jesuit community house of St. Claude de la Colombière, SJ. A handwritten notation to this last slide adds: “our 3rd year now deserted.” It seems that some group made pilgrimages to this Jesuit community before the Jesuits were expelled from France between 1901-1905.

Right column:

Chapel in [Visitation?]. 1st Chapel of the S[acred] Heart (slide 29)

Apparition at Paray to Blessed Margaret M. (slide ??)

Wax Effigy (slide 38)

Feast of [Bl.? St.?] Margaret Mary. 1st celebration in Honor of S[acred]. Heart (slide 47)

These slides in the right column are photographs of the chapel of the Sacred Heart within the Visitation Monastery; a painting (in the monastery) depicting the Marian Apparition to Alocoque; a wax effigy of the saint; and a depiction of Visitation nuns celebrating the feast (October 16).

Since Alacoque was beatified in 1864 but not canonized until 1920, the second slide identifying her as “Blessed” suggests that these slides pre-date 1920. Indeed, they would seem to pre-date July 1914, the outbreak of the First World War.

Lender: Holy Family Church, Chicago

Filed under EXHIBITION hfbalopticon stignscience Sacred Heart submission

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Three slides found with Balopticon “Magic Lantern” (Model C)
ca. 1912-1914
The fifty glass slides found with the Balopticon in the Holy Family Church vault depict figures associated with the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Although they are each numbered, the numbers on some of them have been crossed out and replaced, suggesting two sets of numbers: identifying slide number and number in order of presentation. The actual order of presentation in which these slides were arranged when first examined (2013) differs from both the identifying numbers as well as presentation order numbers.
All of the slides are associated in some way with devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. This topic suggests a number of possible presenters and uses for this Balopticon. It could have been used with Holy Family Church’s Sodality of the Sacred Heart; or it could have been used by either Jesuits or Religious of the Sacred Heart to explain the history of their primary devotion. It could have been used with Holy Family parochial students; or in religion classes at St. Ignatius College.
Among the slides are illustrations of the French nun St. Marguerite-Marie Alacoque, VHM (1647-1690) and her visions from 1673 to 1675, when Christ is said to have appeared to Alacoque and promised blessings to those who practiced devotion to his Sacred Heart. Also pictured is Alacoque’s confessor, the Jesuit St. Claude de la Colombière, SJ (1641-1682), who accepted the visions and endorsed the devotion.
Other slides show photographs from Paray-le-Monial, including the Apparitions Chapel at the Visitation convent (with Alacoque’s body) and the Colombière chapel with Claude’s relics. (See present-day museum.)
In the nineteenth century, the Sacred Heart had become a powerful symbol not only of Christ’s love, but also of the perseverance of Catholic faith against modern challenges. Its influence was reflected by the drive to build the massive Basilica of the Sacred Heart at Montmartre, Paris, from 1875 to 1914, depicted by plans and renderings in the Balopticon slides.
Although most of the slide collection is black and white, at least one slide was colored by William A. Blomgren (1858-1933), a photo engraver who practiced at Winona Street in Chicago from 1891 to 1908.
The mystical visions of Marguerite-Marie Alacoque may seem a long way from the twentieth century innovation of electronic media, but teachers and students at Holy Family Church and Saint Ignatius College saw no contradiction. Instead, as these slides show, they eagerly adapted new technologies to enhance their teaching.
Although most of the slides seem to be photographed from books or magazines, handwritten notes on them suggest that those showing the slides had also visited the sites. It is possible that some of the slides include photographs taken on site.
Just as Cornelius Smarius, SJ, traveled to Paris to obtain vestments for use at Holy Family Church; and just as Arnold Damen, SJ, traveled to Europe to obtain funds for projects like Saint Ignatius College; so too these teachers whose identities are no longer known to us maintained transatlantic ties. They traveled to France to visit and photograph these pilgrimage sites, and then carried them back to Chicago audiences, recasting a popular expression of piety for new generations of Americans.
(Photograph and research: Joshua Wachuta)
Lender: Holy Family Church, Chicago

 

Three slides found with Balopticon “Magic Lantern” (Model C)

ca. 1912-1914

The fifty glass slides found with the Balopticon in the Holy Family Church vault depict figures associated with the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Although they are each numbered, the numbers on some of them have been crossed out and replaced, suggesting two sets of numbers: identifying slide number and number in order of presentation. The actual order of presentation in which these slides were arranged when first examined (2013) differs from both the identifying numbers as well as presentation order numbers.

All of the slides are associated in some way with devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. This topic suggests a number of possible presenters and uses for this Balopticon. It could have been used with Holy Family Church’s Sodality of the Sacred Heart; or it could have been used by either Jesuits or Religious of the Sacred Heart to explain the history of their primary devotion. It could have been used with Holy Family parochial students; or in religion classes at St. Ignatius College.

Among the slides are illustrations of the French nun St. Marguerite-Marie Alacoque, VHM (1647-1690) and her visions from 1673 to 1675, when Christ is said to have appeared to Alacoque and promised blessings to those who practiced devotion to his Sacred Heart. Also pictured is Alacoque’s confessor, the Jesuit St. Claude de la Colombière, SJ (1641-1682), who accepted the visions and endorsed the devotion.

Other slides show photographs from Paray-le-Monial, including the Apparitions Chapel at the Visitation convent (with Alacoque’s body) and the Colombière chapel with Claude’s relics. (See present-day museum.)

In the nineteenth century, the Sacred Heart had become a powerful symbol not only of Christ’s love, but also of the perseverance of Catholic faith against modern challenges. Its influence was reflected by the drive to build the massive Basilica of the Sacred Heart at Montmartre, Paris, from 1875 to 1914, depicted by plans and renderings in the Balopticon slides.

Although most of the slide collection is black and white, at least one slide was colored by William A. Blomgren (1858-1933), a photo engraver who practiced at Winona Street in Chicago from 1891 to 1908.

The mystical visions of Marguerite-Marie Alacoque may seem a long way from the twentieth century innovation of electronic media, but teachers and students at Holy Family Church and Saint Ignatius College saw no contradiction. Instead, as these slides show, they eagerly adapted new technologies to enhance their teaching.

Although most of the slides seem to be photographed from books or magazines, handwritten notes on them suggest that those showing the slides had also visited the sites. It is possible that some of the slides include photographs taken on site.

Just as Cornelius Smarius, SJ, traveled to Paris to obtain vestments for use at Holy Family Church; and just as Arnold Damen, SJ, traveled to Europe to obtain funds for projects like Saint Ignatius College; so too these teachers whose identities are no longer known to us maintained transatlantic ties. They traveled to France to visit and photograph these pilgrimage sites, and then carried them back to Chicago audiences, recasting a popular expression of piety for new generations of Americans.

(Photograph and research: Joshua Wachuta)

Lender: Holy Family Church, Chicago

 

Filed under EXHIBITION hfbalopticon stignscience Sacred Heart transatlantic submission